Today I am delighted to host the blog tour for the inspiring, thought-provoking Call Me Joe by Martin Van Es and Andrew Crofts.
The world is on the brink of disaster.
The environment, society and mankind itself are facing extreme challenges in a world that is both more connected, and yet more divided than ever before. Fear and confusion seep into all parts of everyday life… now, more than ever, the world needs one voice, one guide…
One day the Earth is plunged into darkness and when light appears again so does a man –call him Joe – claiming to be the son of God. Can Joe bring the world’s most creative thinkers and leaders together to tackle the ills of mankind?
Can he convince us all to follow him before it’s too late?
In this compelling and prescient novel, Martin van Es and Andrew Crofts highlight the key concerns of our time and imagine a future where we, at last, all work together to ensure the future of our world and all the life that calls it home.
I have to say I have found reading this novel rather a rollercoaster of emotions. I was so intrigued by the synopsis and was really looking forward to reading it. It was one of those books that was calling to me from my TBR pile and I was excited once it came to the top. I sat down with that warm feeling you get when about to immerse yourself into something wonderful. And it is wonderful, for so many different reasons. Lately the state of the world, these troubing times along with the hate and intolerance that I see in the news, on social media and pretty much everywhere you choose to raise your head up, has made my heart ache. At times the future feels hopeless but then I read Call me Joe and it really lifted me up and gave me hope. It highlighted so much of what is wrong with the way we live now and the governments that lead us. And it showed me how simply we can all make the changes needed.
The story begins with the sun going out. Literally as though someone has flipped a switch. The world is in darkness, even the moon has disappeared without the light from the sun to illuminate it. 12 minutes later it comes back again and along with it a man called Joe. Sophie, a teacher, is at school when it happens and her whole classs sees this strange man appear outside her classroom. Something about him feels familiar and she goes to him – showing kindness and willing to cast aside her suspicious nature to help him. A lifelong atheist she questions his sanity when he proclaims to be called Jesus, oh and the son of God.
It is a name which always elicits dramatic responses. Too many people have argued and fought about it over the centuries. It has too many connotations; some wonderful, of course, but many painful. It carries too much baggage with it. I like ‘Joe’ much better. Don’t you? So call me joe.Call Me Joe by Martin Van Es and Andrew Crofts
As news of Joe’s arrival begins to spread, the world’s leaders become nervous of this man. It isn’t long before he trends on social media as people begin to believe in him. Unnerved, the leaders become keen to discredit him, perhaps even remove him for good. How dare he challenge their leadership?
Yet there are people who have been fighting for change on this planet of ours. Fighting to change the destructive course we are taking. Fighting to protect the earth and mankind for generations to come. Shaken by the incident with the sun our vulnerability becomes even clearer. Soon Joe has followers who are willing to assist in his quest to help humankind learn to save themselves, but will he be heard over the loudness of power and wealth? Can kindness, honesty, wisdom, and hard work help bring the planet back from the brink of darkness?
I realise my review is a little heavy, this novel does after all bring a very serious subject matter to light. But I also found it an incredibly engaging read, The authors obviously have a great deal of love for the world we live in and the people that inhabit it. As so many of us are coming to realise, it’s future is in danager. As humans we have perhaps been too caught up in our own brilliance and need to progress and achieve to see the damage we are leaving in our wake. Yet each and every one of us has the power to save the world. Every small act matters. Every voice to save it must be heard. Call Me Joe is not only a thoroughly enjoying adventure about a world turned on it’s head but it is also thought-provoking and challenges us to look at our own role and that of those in power – a power that we have given them. Can we save the world?
Thank you so much to the team at Red Barn Books for including me on this blog tour. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Joe and all his friends and supporters (particularly loved Hugo!).
Call Me Joe is published by Red Door Press and available now in paperback and ebook.
Find out more about the novel or the Joe Project by visiting the website here.
About the Authors
Martin Van Es
Martin van Es is a Dutch entrepreneur, father and grandfather. Born in 1959, the youngest of three children, he studied clinical psychology in Groningen, but got distracted by partying and a permanent lack of money. In 1986, he became a father to his daughter, and his son joined the world in 1989, during this time he decided it was time to study again and start living more seriously.
After graduating in international marketing, Martin took a job as a purchasing directorof a partnership of 28 wholesalers, enabling him to travel the world.He then became director of a packaging wholesaler in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Over 14 years he developed the company alongside his team to create a leading player in the international packaging industry.
In 2005, Martin sold the company to the largest distributor in the packaging world, and he ventured into volunteering, investing and advising companies. MooiWeer, on the beautiful island of Terschelling, is a father and son enterprise, of which Martin is particularly proud.
Between 2013 and 2017, martin worked as MD for a large, international, family-owned group of packaging wholesale companies specialised in environmental issues. The role, and the birth of his first two grandchildren, have had a massive influence on Martin.
He started writing Call Me Joein 2017 and hopes the book will provoke conversation, challenge the status quo, and encourage people to question more about what is happening in the world, to question their leaders, and to consider their role in the future of the planet.
Having been introduced by Dutch publisher, Geert Kimpen, Martin Van Es and Andrew Crofts spent a great deal of time together at Andrew’s home in Sussex and Martin’s home on the remote island of Terschelling. There were long evenings talking beside log fires and long meals in beach cafes as they worked out every detail of the story which had been brewing for many years inside Martin’s head, turning it into The One–who can save the world.
Andrew is a ghostwriter and author who has published more than a hundred books, both fiction and non-fiction, a dozen of which were Sunday Times number one bestsellers. He has also guided a number of international clients successfully through the minefield of independent publishing. Between 2010 and 2020 he has written with authors in the USA , Europe, the Far East, the Middle East, India and Africa .
Andrew’s name first became known among publishers for the stories he brought them by the otherwise disenfranchised. Travelling all over the world he worked with victims of enforced marriages in North Africa and the Middle East, sex workers in the Far East, orphans in war-torn areas like Croatia and dictatorships like Romania, victims of crimes and abused children everywhere.
The enormous success of these books brought many very different people to his door; first came the celebrities from the worlds of film, music, television and sport, and then the real elite in the form of world leaders in business and politics.
Andrew has also published his own fiction, most recently What Lies Around Us and Secrets of the Italian Gardener, which both draw on his experiences ghostwriting for the powerful and wealthy.
His books on writing include Ghostwriting, (A&C Black) and The Freelance Writer’s Handbook, (Piatkus), which has been reprinted eight times over twenty years and Confessions of a Ghostwriter (Friday Project).
Throughout his bestseller, The Ghost, Robert Harris quotes Andrew’s book, Ghostwriting. Harris’s book went on to become a major movie by the same name, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Ewan McGregor as the eponymous ghost.
Andrew was on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors in London from 2012 to 2015. He lectures on the subject of making a living from writing and frequently guests at writing workshops, literary festivals and in the media. He blogs regularly on matters pertaining to publishing, self-publishing and writing.